Firefighter Combat Challenge Moved to Ontario, California

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A sudden cancellation of the World Firefighters Games in Los Angeles prompts local officials to save the popular Combat Challenge event by hosting it at Ontario Mills, the Greater Ontario CVB announced.

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We are grateful to all our partners in the City of Ontario for scrambling to help make this work.

Firefighters from around the world will still be able to compete this August in the Scott’s Safety Firefighter Combat Challenge in California, thanks to some quick scrambling between event organizers, the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau and Ontario Mills, the newly announced location for the contest.

The Firefighter Combat Challenge was originally scheduled to take place Aug. 21-23 in Los Angeles as a part of the larger World Firefighters Games, which were cancelled in June due to problems with planning and logistics.

The Firefighter Combat Challenge approached the Ontario Fire Department for help, and with the assistance of the Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau and Ontario Mills was able to relocate the contest to Ontario, just 30 miles east of its originally proposed location and on the same dates as originally planned.

“We are grateful to all our partners in the City of Ontario for scrambling to help make this work,” said Michael DeGrandpre of the Scott’s Safety Firefighter Combat Challenge. “We had several firefighters booked on flights from other countries to attend these games. The move to Ontario means they can still compete and they don’t have to change their travel plans.”

Art Andres, Deputy Chief for the Ontario Fire Department, said his city was a great choice for the Combat Challenge.

“We have had experience with the Combat Challenge in the past as a host for the Western States Police and Fire Games held here in 2011,” Andres said. “We’re really happy to be able to help out and host it again. These are strenuous competitions, but they’re a lot of fun.”

The Scott’s Safety Firefighter Combat Challenge attracts firefighters from all over the world to compete head-to-head in simulations that reflect the physical demands of real-life firefighting, including racing up a five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175-pound “victim” as they race against themselves, their opponents and the clock. The games have been televised nationally on ESPN and CBS sports. Firefighters from throughout the United States and select countries overseas are invited to register for the games, which are open to the public for viewing. For information, visit

DeGrandpre said this year’s challenge is expected to draw as many as 250 competitors – far more than the 50 to 100 that typically attend the regional contests.

Michael Krouse, President and CEO of the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, said he was pleased with the level of cooperation exhibited by everyone who helped to make the move happen.

“Ontario Mills is going to be a great host for the games,” Krouse said. “Firefighters will be able to compete during the day, and enjoy the restaurants and entertainment with family and friends in the evening.”

About the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau provides groups and meeting professionals with an unbiased, comprehensive resource when booking a tour, convention, meeting or event within the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Ideal for both leisure and business travel, the region boasts scenic mountains, deserts, vineyards and metropolitan areas that are both historic and cosmopolitan in character. For meeting needs of all sizes – from a conference room to a citywide convention utilizing the Ontario Convention Center – or for a special exposition or sporting event, the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau will provide the necessary destination support tools to execute a successful experience. Visit

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